Mary Leonard '21

Mary Leonard is a first-year student here at DePauw. Her intended major is biochemistry. She is currently the only freshman constructing research under Professor Jackie Roberts in collaboration with Dave Roberts.  

HerCampus: Mary! Thank you so much meeting with me!

Mary Leonard: No problem, thank you so much for interviewing me; it’s an honor.

HC: You intend to declare your major next semester. How did you know biochemistry was the right path for you?

ML: Ever since my junior year of high school, it occurred to me in physiology class during a cow heart dissection that I really had loved science all my life; from then on, I have dedicated myself to pursuing science. I chose biochemistry because it allowed me to combine the two facets of science I love most: biology and chemistry, and how they relate to one another.

HC: You are currently a researcher under Professor Jackie Roberts. What did you think initially going into it and how has that changed now that you have gotten to know your fellow researchers as well as the material you are working with?

ML:  Initially, I was really nervous I wouldn't be able to contribute, given my freshman status, compared to the two seniors and junior I work with. But this was far from true; as soon as I understood what the research was about and how to do it, I immediately felt like a real team player.

HC: What goal are you trying to achieve with your research team right now?

ML: We work with proteins, so right now we are trying to stock up on protein crystals so we can go to Argonne National Laboratory to shoot X-rays at the proteins and learn more about their structures.

HC: Are you currently, or do you plan on becoming, involved in any other programs that will further your experience in the science field?

ML: Yes, absolutely. I am currently in the application process to hopefully become a Science Research Fellow here at DePauw University. I hope to also do summer research either at DePauw or elsewhere during my time as an undergraduate.

HC: What kind of advice do you have to any of your peers who are thinking about going into a science major here at DePauw?

ML: My advice would be that if you are at all considering science at DePauw, do it, even if it’s just for a minor. You won’t regret it; the science professors are super knowledgeable about their respective fields and genuinely want to see their students succeed.

HC: Do you ever find it difficult to balance all the work you are involved in with social life and other interests? How do you manage?

ML: There is a lot of work associated with being a science major, there’s no doubt about that. But with good time management and determination, science majors can work hard and play hard if they so desire.

HC: What would your dream experience be after graduating?  

ML: So many things! I think my ideal would be to get into an MD/PhD program and do that and from there go into clinical research.

HC: Thank you so much for meeting with me today, Mary! Keep up the hard work!  

ML: Thank you so much!